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Questions tagged [economics]

Economics is the analytical study of the costs and benefits of producing, distributing, and consuming goods and services. This tag should not be used for personal finance questions, nor for most questions about expensive items, e.g. exorbitantly priced houses, autos, jewelry. It can be used for current events, and in historical contexts.

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Is the gender pay gap evidence of discrimination?

(I've asked this before but people had troubling separating the question from just the gender pay gap. This is a way I was suggested to ask it, so I am giving it a try) No one can deny the gender pay ...
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Can we grow enough crops to feed all people on Earth?

Vegetarianism is heavily promoted. But let's say all people on Earth stop eating animal products. Can we grow enough crops so all people on the Earth are provided with enough healthy, nutritious food? ...
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Can we end poverty for $US175 billion per year?

A recent question brought up the claim that poverty can be eliminated for 175 billion a year. I found this claim To end extreme poverty worldwide in 20 years, Sachs calculated that the total ...
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1answer
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Organic food is worse for the environment because it requires more land than non-organic food

I've heard that organic crops and husbandry are worse for the environment than non-organic equivalents because in the absence of pesticides and fertilizers much more land is required for an organic ...
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Can a society become unhappier with an increase in wealth?

People like to claim that less developed countries are happier, because they live the simple life and stronger family ties. We've all heard the saying: Money can't buy you happiness. Which is easy ...
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1answer
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Is there a link between rising UK youth unemployment and immigration from Eastern Europe?

The UK is facing a rise in youth unemployment, and it has been claimed recently that there is a link to immigration from Eastern Europe. Can this be backed up or discredited? Is there a link between ...
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Does the US government voluntarily underreport inflation?

According to Shadow Government Statistics, inflation in the USA is around 11%, not 3% as the official statistics claim, as shown in this chart: (source) In fact, they suggest that the US government ...
106
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3answers
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Are there more open jobs than available developers?

A recent Stack Overflow blog post claims that: With nearly five open jobs for every available software developer, the need for qualified technical talent is higher than ever. I have seen this ...
39
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1answer
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Do the rich get richer and the poor get poorer?

From the Wikipedia page "The rich get richer and the poor get poorer" is a catchphrase and proverb, frequently used (with variations in wording) in discussing economic inequality. Its most common ...
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1answer
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Has every U.S. presidential election been won by the candidate with the most money?

According to Russell Brand: Every election in American history has been won by the party with the most money to campaign. Let's assume that he means every presidential election. Has every ...
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3answers
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What are the scientifically established effects of Daylight Saving Time?

Since the US recently went on to DST, I thought it'd be appropriate to ask this: I've heard many claims made about DST, ranging from "It saves electricity" to "It balances out daylight hours" to "It ...
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2answers
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Are there enough unused houses in America for each homeless person to have six?

I can't find a source for this, and that number seems much too high to me (although I don't know much about the subject). Is this true? If not, what is the actual ratio of homeless people to vacant ...
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1answer
720 views

Do CFLs have a significant impact on your light bill?

I just moved into my own apartment, and I've taken quite an interest in being as energy-efficient as possible (simply because, hey - I'm paying the electricity bill now!). I've been wondering - are ...
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Do minimum wage laws disproportionately harm black employment?

There is a common claim that applying minimum wage laws impacts the poorer members of society, and thus impacts poorer minorities, such as blacks, more than others. Milton Friedman openly argued ...
238
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1answer
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Has Stack Overflow saved billions of dollars in programmer productivity?

John Carmack is a renowned developer and CTO. His Twitter account has over 100,000 followers. On the occasion of Stack Exchange's 5th anniversary, he quipped on Twitter: [... Stack Overflow] has ...
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2answers
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Do patents boost innovation?

In a recent judgement Europe's highest court ruled that Stem Cells derived from human embryos cannot be patented (see BBC story here). This provoked many scientists to argue that both research and the ...
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2answers
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Is there a worldwide helium shortage?

I've seen a number of news articles about scarcity of Helium lately, for example: At the moment, helium is cheap, primarily because the US government built up a large surplus supply, then decided ...
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5answers
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Is peak oil still set for 2013?

There have been various dates that I've read about the prediction of peak oil, when global petroleum production will stop growing theoretically. Some claim 2020s; others say the 2050s as the final ...
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1answer
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Is drug development far cheaper than Big Pharma wants us to believe?

In an article titled "The Make-Believe Billion - How drug companies exaggerate research costs to justify absurd profits" in Slate the author writes about a new study about the costs of drug ...
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1answer
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Did Einstein ever remark on compound interest?

In personal finance articles I frequently find quotes injected to attribute some further relevance to one's position. Over the years, I've read Einstein quoted as saying that 'compound interest was ...
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3answers
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Can acts of IP piracy be more beneficial than harmful?

There are several claims that piracy of Intellectual Property (IP) can help sales more than it hurts them. For example, Edmund McMillan of Team Meat states in an interview at IGN: McMillen ...
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1answer
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Is there economic data to suggest whether or not trickle-down economics provides a net increase in standards of living?

One of the chief arguments for Reagan's fiscal policy of trickle-down economics was "money was all appropriated for the top in hopes that it would trickle down to the needy." Essentially that by ...
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2answers
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Does the Bilderberg Group have influence on world events?

Is there any evidence to support the claim the Bilderberg Group have control of the world and its money supply? Is there evidence to suggest they are planning on exterminating the majority of the ...
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3answers
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Do the Jewish control a larger proportion of U.S. wealth than their proportion in the population?

As per StormFront (warning: neo-nazi website): While only 3% of the population, the Jews control over 25% of the nation's wealth and this percentage rises every year. Is only 3% of the ...
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Does the AMA limit the number of doctors to increase current doctors' salaries?

A suggested reason why doctors get paid so much more in the US as opposed to other developed countries is that the American Medical Association (AMA) artificially limits the physician supply in order ...
25
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1answer
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Are the chances of dying on the way to get lottery tickets larger than the chance of winning?

I encountered the following claim: The chances of you dying on the way to get your lottery tickets is greater than your chances of winning Of course, whether is is true depends on the lottery, on ...
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Do automobile manufacturers make parts wear out and break easily, just so they can make more money?

It is sometimes heard that automobile manufacturers design low-quality parts that wear out or break easily, so that they can make money on the repair or replacement of these parts. I believe this to ...
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4answers
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Is more than 30% of US healthcare spending waste?

National healthcare spending in the USA consumes more than 18% of GDP and is growing rapidly. Europeans criticise the expense and relatively poor quality of the US system (for example, see this ...
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1answer
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Does the $20 bill predict the 9/11 attacks?

I am referring to claims such as those made at this site. Basically they claim that a certain folding of the bill shows burning images of twin towers. The new U.S. $20 dollar bill contains hidden ...
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2answers
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Do Americans use 500 million straws per day?

CNN claims that Americans use 500 million straws per day. Every day, Americans throw away 500 million plastic straws, enough to circle the Earth twice, or fill 125 school buses. Other sources ...
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1answer
2k views

Do typical modern pharmaceutical firms spend more on marketing than on R&D?

Developing new drugs is an expensive process. As a result the pharmaceutical industry spends a lot on R&D (15% of turnover is not unusual and is higher than most other major industries: see report ...
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2answers
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Does banning abortion significantly increase or decrease the number of abortions?

According to the following article, the oft quoted result that abortion is higher in countries where it is legal is misleading: The obvious problem with The Lancet study is that many of the ...
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2answers
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Do banks typically lose as much money as they make in the long term?

Nicholas Nassem Taleb makes the following passing statement in his latest meditation on the nature and management of risk (Antifragile): ...businesses with negative optionality (that is, the ...
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1answer
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Is avoiding global warming by preventing CO₂ emissions far too expensive compared to geoengineering or adapting to a warmer world?

Experts in the science of global climate change often criticise their opponents by disparaging their expertise in climate science. But experts in climate science are not experts in economics. So when ...
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1answer
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Does the increase of automation lead to unemployment? [closed]

According to this Huffington Post opinion piece, it's possible that in the future the ongoing process of automation will lead to less job opportunities. It quotes economist Paul Krugman arguing one ...
11
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1answer
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Do the motors of washers last only 1/3 to 1/4 as long as they used to?

Ryan Finlay writes in They Used To Last 50 Years: Let me start with an example: for top loading washers and dryers two of the most expensive parts on the machines are the timer and motor. For ...
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2answers
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Are Fair Trade products guaranteed to be 'fairer'?

I was wondering about Fair Trade foods/products (products carrying the international certificate) as I have never seen an actual policy or standards on how much farmers/producers get paid. Is there ...
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2answers
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Are teachers in the United states paid poorly?

At the last "Save Our Schools" rally, Matt Damon said: So you think job insecurity is what makes me work hard? I want to be an actor. That’s not an incentive. That’s the thing: See, you take this ...
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1answer
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Is 2FABE a secret code for sending postcards without a stamp?

Borrowing shamelessly from a travel Stack Exchange question https://travel.stackexchange.com/questions/2825/2fabe-the-secret-international-travel-postcard-stamp-code: I was told about this about ...
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4answers
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Are GMO crops to blame for farmer suicides in India?

Anyone who follows the genetically modified organism (GMO) debate has probably heard the claim that GMO crops, and specifically the inability to save seed and other associated production costs, have ...
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1answer
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Do women drive 80% of consumption?

The Men's Rights organization, Men Going Their Own Way (MGTOW) have claimed (quoting The Observer Watches Blog) that: Consumption in the modern world today is driven overwhelmingly by women (80-91%,...
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2answers
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Is the income of the porn industry 50% of the revenues made on the Internet?

Yesterday a friend of mine told me that most of the money which is made in the internet is going to the porn industry. First I didn't believe any word and I was like "Hey, shut up! There is still ...
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2answers
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Is it possible to identify where Euro banknotes are from?

Some websites claim that you can know which country printed an euro banknote, by looking at the serial number. Is that technique fool-proof ?
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1answer
2k views

Do most economists consider lump of labor to be a fallacy?

As an economist in training, it is my understanding that the idea that there is a fixed amount of work is considered a fallacy by most economists. For example, when Paul Krugman discusses it, he ...
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1answer
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Is Coffee the most traded commodity in the world after Oil?

I have heard the claim that Coffee is the most traded commodity in the world right after Oil. Is there any proof of that? I have also heard that coffee is the most consumed beverage after water? Any ...
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1answer
482 views

Is inflation in the US higher than government statistics suggest? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Does the US government voluntarily underreport inflation? The Consumer Price Index claims to reflect "changes in the prices paid by urban consumers for a representative basket ...
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2answers
378 views

Were the vast majority of lost manufacturing jobs since 2000 lost due to automation?

There has been a lot of discussion here in the US about manufacturing and about bringing back jobs from overseas. While interviewing US presidential candidate Andrew Yang on the Waking Up podcast, ...
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1answer
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Did Americans coin the phrase “to make money”?

This claim comes from a work of fiction but it is often repeated as true by fiscally conservative individuals who respect the author. In Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged, a character named Francisco gives a ...
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Is the British monarchy economically beneficial?

When considering the economic impact of the British royals on the economy/budget, a first thought might be that they cost the state money since they don't do any "real" work and yet live quite ...
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1answer
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Were more than a half of all Silicon Valley tech companies founded by immigrants between 1995 and 2005?

Source: CNN Global Public Square: A new book caught my eye this week. It’s called The Immigrant Exodus by Vivek Wadhwa, a former tech entrepreneur who now studies and lectures on immigration. He ...